Supersize me: Cancer Council Victoria orders a serve of hard-hitting WA LiveLighter campaign

Cancer-Council-WA.jpgWestern Australia's LiveLighter campaign is set to make an impact on the other side of the nation, with the Victorian State Government investing in the hard-hitting public health education campaign, originally created two years ago by Paul Fishlock's Sydney-based Behaviour Change Partners.

Cancer Council Victoria, in partnership with the Heart Foundation Victoria, is launching LiveLighter's graphic 'toxic fat' television commercials which will air across the state tonight.

Maurice Swanson, chief executive of the Heart Foundation, said LiveLighter has been well-received in WA, with strong evidence the campaign is having the desired effect.

"Awareness of the campaign is high, particularly when compared to other public education campaigns. Even better, the campaign is resonating more with people who are overweight or obese, compared to people in the healthy weight range. I have confidence we will see the same great results in Victoria."

LiveLighter WA campaign director Maria Szybiak is eager to see the response in Victoria to the real footage used in the television advertisements that takes people inside their bodies.

"LiveLighter uses graphic images to cut through the thousands of messages we are all exposed to - including, of course, the barrage of advertising that promotes unhealthy junk high in saturated fat, sugar and salt."

"It is exciting to see two Australian states unite in educating people about the health consequences of consuming junk food and drink. We are proud WA has led the charge in trying to address Australia's biggest epidemic - obesity."

The LiveLighter campaign models appropriate behaviours to tackle unhealthy weight and reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and several cancers.


the best part said:

It's only a fleeting glance, but the way the dad looks at his lard-ass kids playing video games on the same path to his lazy ways is brilliant. It's just a shame most people will look away just before it because of too much internal organ footage.

Michelle said:

I'd like to know what they mean when they said the campaign 'resonates' with people who are overweight or obese. With all likelihood this could mean that they connected in with it in a negative way, i.e. made them feel ashamed about their bodies. Unfortunately this doesn't equate or lead to being inspired to adopt more healthy behaviours. The research shows consistently that making people feel ashamed of their bodies promotes the very behaviours (sedentary living and low quality food choices) that they need to change.

Here is an extract from recent research that shows a better way to deal with public health.

Public health messages that are free of weight focus appear to be acceptable to the public and more likely to encourage healthy behaviours than messages emphasising weight control or obesity prevention. For example, a large nationally representative U.S. survey revealed that participants responded most favourably to public health messages that promoted healthy behaviours without any reference to weight or obesity at all. The survey further showed that messages perceived as weight stigmatising were negatively received and rated less likely to foster healthy behaviour change. The findings have since been replicated in randomised controlled settings.’

Reference: Tylka et. al. Journal of Obesity, 2014. The Weight-Inclusive versus Weight-Normative Approach to Health: Evaluating the Evidence for Prioritising Well-Being over Weight Loss.

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